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Police Probe Two Deaths in Yorktown Home Overrun with Cats
The bodies of a man and woman were found Monday in a dilapidated Yorktown home where 150 cats were discovered living in filthy conditions.
Yorktown Police were asked by a family member to do a welfare check Jan. 30 at about 9 p.m. at 149 Cordial Rd. Police Chief Robert Noble said officers were able to break into the small residence, where two deceased bodies were located.
Noble said police were unable to investigate further at the time due to the sheer volume of cats that were seen in every room of the home, including the ceilings and walls.
On the morning of Jan. 31, members of the SPCA Westchester rescue team responded and removed the cats, all Abyssinian mixes, suffering from upper respiratory, eye and skin infections, malnutrition, dehydration, and other severe injuries that required immediate medical attention.
SPCA Westchester Executive Director Shannon Laukhuf said all of the cats were starving and had likely not eaten for many days. Some cats were deceased.
“This is the largest hoarding case SPCA Westchester has ever undertaken, and we desperately need the support of the community to help care for these neglected and sick cats who need urgent medical attention,” Laukhuf said, stressing financial support, cat food, litter, blankets and towels were all needed.
Partners from Best Friends Animal Society, Mohawk Hudson Humane Society, Westchester Humane Society, Rescue Right and Columbia Green Humane Society helped the SPCA with the massive rescue effort.
Once the cats were removed, Yorktown detectives joined forces with the Westchester County Police Forensic Unit and Medical Examiner to investigate.
“Collectively, we determined that the deaths do not appear to be the result of foul play. However, any death not of natural causes is inherently suspicious,” Noble stated.
Police have not released the names of the deceased individuals.
“We are mindful of the mourning period of the loved ones of both decedents. Public curiosity does not outweigh the privacy that the families of the decedents should be given,” Noble stated.
Anyone with any information that could be useful to police in their investigation is asked to call (914) 962-3856.
In June 2012, three homeowners from Cordial Rd. appealed to the Yorktown Town Board for assistance with what they described as dirty, free-roaming cats that belong to their neighbor.
Once an article was written, Barbara Connolly contacted Examiner Media to present her side of the story. At the time, Connolly said her elderly mother had lived in the home for 65 years
“My cats are clean, neutered, [they’ve had their] shots. There’s no fleas. My cats are taken care of,” Connolly claimed at the time. “The whole block has cats … It’s not a colony of wild cats. They’re not wild.”
Rick has more than 40 years’ experience covering local news in Westchester and Putnam counties, running the gamut from politics and crime to sports and human interest. He has been an editor at Examiner Media since 2012. Read more from Rick’s editor-author bio here. Read Rick’s work here: https://www.theexaminernews.com/author/pezzullo_rick-writer/